Naked Reader Book Club Discussion: Crazy Little Thing - Why Love and Sex Drive Us Mad, by Liz Langley (December 27, 8-10 PM EST)

RTx RTx
Quote:
Originally posted by aliceinthehole
tell me about it.



it's like, at least for me, the vagina is connected directly to the heart. once you're allowed in there, you can potentially be placed in one's heart, so to speak.

that can be a dangerous place to ... More
It can feel like psychological rape, even...just being friended off after letting someone in that intimately
12/27/2011
Liz Langley Liz Langley
Quote:
Originally posted by RTx
Amen, sister!
I hope so, too....when an idea gets wedged into the culture it's sometimes hard to wiggle it out, but it happens! I'm hoping this is one of them.
12/27/2011
Liz Langley Liz Langley
Quote:
Originally posted by RTx
Do you know they have THEIR OWN FAN CONVENTION???
Whaaaaat? I have to have a link for that!! I'm very interesting in fans....I think (and there's a little sidebar in the book about this) that they have a similar chemistry to people in love. WHen you're in love with someone, after all, you're a fan! I love the idea of something so niche having a whole convention!!! AWESOME!
12/27/2011
RTx RTx
Quote:
Originally posted by LicentiouslyYours
I have been wishing for years there was some kind of tool that could go into the inbox of someone else and pull back that unfortunate email you sent... or into the voicemail to erase the message you never should have left. It hasn't happened to ... More
I guess that's what good ole' "forgiveness" is meant to fix...all those bad messages that get away from us!
12/27/2011
Liz Langley Liz Langley
Quote:
Originally posted by RTx
I guess I'm a feline Bonobo, then...
If you're a Scorpio too then you're a serious triple threat!
12/27/2011
Sacchi Sacchi
Here's an extensive excerpt Liz provided about that whole crazy, intense versus sane and stable dichotomy. It's long, but interesting.

in the chapter called "Spiritual Love" I talk about the difference between that wild, addictive, surreal love versus saner, more sensible....more comfortable love. I want to believe you can have both but I've never experienced that...it always seems to be one or the other.

Divine Madness
This is my favorite phase of love, the “smitten” phase, when the person you love is the thing your mind always returns to, when dressing up for them is still a two-hour affair, when, like a religious devotee, life is easy for you because there’s only one person to please, and it isn’t you— and you want to do it. Slavish devotion can be very freeing and sex can be intensely spiritual; combine them and they take you to a plane that impossible to capture in words. That’s why all the parental flapping about “waiting till you find the right person” falls on deaf ears. There is no explaining that feeling of “right” until you experience it. It’s so elusive it can seem nonexistent, but when it happens it’s the only thing that’s real.
This intimacy can be terrifying. It can be overwhelming to connect so fully to someone else. And then it’s really awkward to have to tell someone with whom you’ve shared sublime ecstasy to pick up some toilet paper on the way home, even weirder to start talking about things like life insurance and lawn care. What the hell happened? How does something so grand it defies language degenerate into squabbles that end with lines like “She’s your mother, you take her to Aquarobics.”
Cristina Nehring is an American author who lives in France and who made me feel indescribably better about my own discomfort with the transference of romance to mundane life. Her book A Vindication of Love is about how 21st-century timidity has broken and domesticated romantic love and made it something tepid, rather than the wild, passionate, erotic, spiritual experience we crave….

Nehring writes: “We inhabit a world in which every aspect of romance from meeting to mating has been streamlined, safety-checked and emptied of spiritual conse- quence. The result is that we imagine we live in an erotic culture of unprecedented opportunity when, in fact, we live in an erotic culture that is almost unendurably bland. ... Romance in our day is a poor and shrunken thing…..”

The vilification of intellectual women who fall for imperfect matches seems to rankle Nehring the most: “If she felt deeply she cannot, we seem to assume, have thought deeply,” she writes of the female intellectual.6 Mary Wollstonecraft, who wrote the first feminist text, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, in 1792 (from which Nehring got her title), was a brilliant author and adventuress and was so smitten with a married American businessman that she tried to kill herself for him….
Nehring also holds up some exemplars of ’70s feminism who treated romantic love as the enemy. “It was in the ’70s that the antiromantic chorus really swelled: from Germaine Greer and Kate Millett to Shulamith Firestone and Andrea Dworkin, articulate, energetic and often best-selling writers declared sex a glorified form of rape and romance a patriarchal ploy to enslave women. Such voices created a climate in which women who loved were often regarded as dupes.”
The sex-positive feminism that followed in the forward- thinking 1990s changed that (or so I think—I might be living proof of it). Yet for all the advantages women have now that we didn’t have then, the assumption that we’ll want a conventional, safe, domestic love—happy, hetero, and hitched—hasn’t changed that much.

Not All Bliss Is Domestic
“My inspiration for Vindication was at once the intensity and ferocity of love I witnessed and experienced around me, and the lukewarm timidity with which I saw it discussed every day in the media,” Cristina wrote from her home in France in the summer of 2010. “It was the fact that I’d review books about women (like Mary Wollstonecraft, like Margaret Fuller) who had been lovers as well as thinkers and I’d see these women saluted for their ideas and dragged through the mud for their amorous practices. As though the boldness of ideas and the boldness of amorous enterprise weren’t closely linked—even inseparable.”7
Is this domestication and diminution of love a uniquely American phenomenon, or something she sees happening in Europe as well?
“I’m afraid the Europeans will tag along behind the Americans eventually—they too often do—but, for now, the sanitization of love and the fetishism of erotic safety does seem to be an especially American phenomenon. In France people still honor a messy romance, complete with secret trysts, inappropriate partners, and intergenerational love triangles. (Just look at the respective amorous lives of Carla Bruni and Nicolas Sarkozy.) In Germany, there’s still a vein of deep romanticism where the notion of “safe sex”—of girding yourself against the very partner with whom you’re aiming to fuse—is highly suspect. Only in America are we so proud of being so self-protective and dull in our personal relations.”
To champion the madness of Marianne Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility over the reserve of the practical, long- suffering Eleanor might seem a little nutsy-cuckoo to some, but this is just what makes it attractive to the romantic spirit:
a) It’s more fun.
b) Pain is better than boredom.
c) It’s a quest.
In that struggle between permanence and transience someone who gets claustrophobic with permanence (like myself) and is always on the lookout for a well-timed dopamine rush is going to be drawn to this epic, uncertain, literary type of love—or at least to staying for more of a reason than that it’s what one is supposed to do. Not all bliss is domestic.
And not all bliss is even blissful. Look back at the Shaky Bridge Theory: “Adrenaline makes the heart grow fonder,” Dr. Ian Kerner said.
12/27/2011
Liz Langley Liz Langley
Quote:
Originally posted by Snozzberries
Man, that accurately describes my last relationship.
Who was the cat?
12/27/2011
Liz Langley Liz Langley
Quote:
Originally posted by RTx
They had it for years at the Victorian hotel site where the movie was filmed...and often had it's stars appear at the event...get the dvd with the extra bits; tells all about it.
WANT.
12/27/2011
Snozzberries Snozzberries
Quote:
Originally posted by Liz Langley
I do talk about some people who were simply not able to let go of their love relationships, even after they had been rejected, or even after the people they loved died.
I think when people get completely hooked that way it's just that the ... More
.... now I have to get this book for my last relationship. Holy cow.
12/27/2011
Liz Langley Liz Langley
Quote:
Originally posted by RTx
you mean the necro-stuff??
There's a few things about that in there. One man, Carl von Kosel who couldn't let the woman of his dreams go....one woman who was/is in love with the Spirit of Death...and one woman who was a necrophile who stole a corpse. Katherine Ramsland, who I interviewed, differentiated between von Cosel and the others in that with him it was about love and with the others it was a paraphilia.
12/27/2011
Liz Langley Liz Langley
Quote:
Originally posted by aliceinthehole
hey everyone, sorry im so late! at work, lost track of time. liz langley herself is here!

what an honor! thanks for coming. love the book so far.
Hey Alice!
Glad you could make it!
12/27/2011
RTx RTx
Quote:
Originally posted by Liz Langley
I do talk about some people who were simply not able to let go of their love relationships, even after they had been rejected, or even after the people they loved died.
I think when people get completely hooked that way it's just that the ... More
Wow, Liz,I had that very same conversation with a good friend of mine earlier this evening....I'll read "Vindication..." thanks.
12/27/2011
Nothere Nothere
Quote:
Originally posted by Sacchi
Here's an extensive excerpt Liz provided about that whole crazy, intense versus sane and stable dichotomy. It's long, but interesting.

in the chapter called "Spiritual Love" I talk about the difference between that wild, ... More
I was reading about how sex is treated in China. Apparently, according to one study Chinese men were having sex more frequently than Americans, but were less satisfied. During the Cultural Revolution, it was illegal to have porn or anything. Now, while there are sex shops everywhere, the Chinese are still not as open about sex. Might have something to do with their disapproval of PDA. Can't find the article, but it was quite interesting.
12/27/2011
Liz Langley Liz Langley
Quote:
Originally posted by Sacchi
Speaking of fandom and conventions, Liz writes about a vampire fan convention held in an an old mining town in Pennsylvania, managing to be eerie, entertaining, and informative all at the same time.
It was a fantastic trip! If there are any vampire lovers out there, it's called Draculacon and is held in May in Windber, PA, a couple of hours drive from Pittsburgh. LOTS of fun, a very diverse program, great atmosphere!
12/27/2011
bluekaren bluekaren
Quote:
Originally posted by Nothere
I was reading about how sex is treated in China. Apparently, according to one study Chinese men were having sex more frequently than Americans, but were less satisfied. During the Cultural Revolution, it was illegal to have porn or anything. Now, ... More
Interesting...
12/27/2011
aliceinthehole aliceinthehole
Quote:
Originally posted by Liz Langley
Hey Alice!
Glad you could make it!
12/27/2011
Snozzberries Snozzberries
Quote:
Originally posted by Liz Langley
Who was the cat?
Him. We had a moment where things in my life ... kind of exploded and the dynamic changed slightly - just enough - and the petting stopped and he bit. Then, because he bit, I didn't want to keep petting him so it spiraled downhill from there.
12/27/2011
RTx RTx
Quote:
Originally posted by Liz Langley
If you're a Scorpio too then you're a serious triple threat!
Guilty as charged...on all three counts...
12/27/2011
aliceinthehole aliceinthehole
Quote:
Originally posted by bluekaren
Interesting...
what? doesn't make sense to me. i see/hear about chinese porns and fetishes and clubs that allow people to live out those fetishes.. that are off the wall!

chinese dirty-panty vending machines, scat/vom vids and fetishes i'd never even dream up.

i'd be interested in reading the article if you ever find it.
12/27/2011
Liz Langley Liz Langley
Quote:
Originally posted by aliceinthehole
about how long did it take you to write the book? i know a TON of research went into it. were you ever overwhelmed by the amount of information out there that you wanted to write about?
Very overwhelmed! I just had to resign myself to the fact that in such an expansive field there would always be more studies coming along and I wouldn't be able to get everything in. But I loved finding things that were relevant to the book and that I could include, whether as their own little sidebars or in the main text.

The first draft took four months; the subsequent revisions (including additional interviewing and writing) and editing/copy editing took another six, so ten months altogether.
12/27/2011
Sacchi Sacchi
Quote:
Originally posted by aliceinthehole
what? doesn't make sense to me. i see/hear about chinese porns and fetishes and clubs that allow people to live out those fetishes.. that are off the wall!

chinese dirty-panty vending machines, scat/vom vids and fetishes i'd never even ... More
I've heard of those things in Japan, but I didn't know they were big in China, too. Makes sense, though, I guess. There's globalization for you.
12/27/2011
aliceinthehole aliceinthehole
Quote:
Originally posted by Liz Langley
Very overwhelmed! I just had to resign myself to the fact that in such an expansive field there would always be more studies coming along and I wouldn't be able to get everything in. But I loved finding things that were relevant to the book and ... More
only four months! wow. as a full time job, then, i'm sure?


did you have to do any traveling for your research?
12/27/2011
Sacchi Sacchi
Quote:
Originally posted by Liz Langley
Very overwhelmed! I just had to resign myself to the fact that in such an expansive field there would always be more studies coming along and I wouldn't be able to get everything in. But I loved finding things that were relevant to the book and ... More
Seems like a good time to ask about any other projects, Liz.
12/27/2011
Nothere Nothere
Quote:
Originally posted by aliceinthehole
what? doesn't make sense to me. i see/hear about chinese porns and fetishes and clubs that allow people to live out those fetishes.. that are off the wall!

chinese dirty-panty vending machines, scat/vom vids and fetishes i'd never even ... More
Huh, sounds like Japan to me. *side note I've actually seen one of those japanese dirty panty vending machines...japanese red light districts are very interesting...* Everything that you've mentioned, I've heard about existing in japan. Speaking about used panty vending machines...this is from 2008 link

All of the different, extreme sexual practices that I've heard of are Japanese.
12/27/2011
Liz Langley Liz Langley
Quote:
Originally posted by Diabolical Kitty
oh wow i love that
I love that, too. That was in a section on Love and Asperger's syndrome, which I'm really interested in. Dr. Amy Marsh, who specializes in Asperger's in relationships, said she thought that people with Asperger's benefited from "some kind of semiformal structure, like BDSM relationships, or Tantra, or very traditional Christian marriage, where the perameters and rules are spelled out and there's less need for spontaneous action, which can be excrutiating for the AS person." I also interviewed someone in a BDSM relationship to talk about the benefits of that kind of structure.

Thanks for bringing that up - I really like that section a lot and with the drama of the other parts it doesn't come up as often!
12/27/2011
RTx RTx
Quote:
Originally posted by Liz Langley
Very overwhelmed! I just had to resign myself to the fact that in such an expansive field there would always be more studies coming along and I wouldn't be able to get everything in. But I loved finding things that were relevant to the book and ... More
I got your book for two of my friends for Christmas...and it just makes the best present because it gets conversations going...get it for your Valentines,everybody! Great gift...
12/27/2011
Nothere Nothere
Quote:
Originally posted by Sacchi
I've heard of those things in Japan, but I didn't know they were big in China, too. Makes sense, though, I guess. There's globalization for you.
I went to China this past March...I went out of my way to find sex shops (which are laughably easy to find in Shanghai), but nothing I found came close to the stuff I saw in Japan
12/27/2011
LicentiouslyYours LicentiouslyYours
Quote:
Originally posted by Diabolical Kitty
Laurel do you have my request for my assignment?
Yep! You should have an assignment by now.
12/27/2011
Snozzberries Snozzberries
Quote:
Originally posted by Nothere
Huh, sounds like Japan to me. *side note I've actually seen one of those japanese dirty panty vending machines...japanese red light districts are very interesting...* Everything that you've mentioned, I've heard about existing in japan. ... More
THAT COMMERCIAL IS HILARIOUS.

I just drooled on myself while laughing. Thanks.
12/27/2011
Kylshae Kylshae
hi everyone I look forward to having read the book for next month. I love to read but I just got on EF a couple weeks ago I just got the email to join.
12/27/2011
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